2.24.2011

Quick Potato & Cheese Pierogis

Well, I have been doing a very good job sticking to my menu planning and cooking dinner every day! I've made the meal I planned to make every day and each has been yum-tastic. What I've NOT been good about is posting the darn recipes!

But fear not! I've been taking pictures and just need to get caught up.

Last night was freezing and snowy and I'm so glad I had potato & cheese pierogis on the menu. I've eaten pierogis all my life, being Polish, and always loved them. I've NEVER made them or even really thought about making them, until I came across a recipe on another food blog. I cheated a bit by using gyoza, but it was great!

Quick Potato & Cheese Pierogi
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's recipe

4 medium sized baking potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
2 T butter
1/3 cup shredded cheese (monterray jack or cheddar)
1 package gyoza (wonton wrappers - can be found in the refrigerated section or the Asian section)
salt and pepper to taste
Light sour cream and chopped green onions

In a medium-sized pot, cover the potatoes with lightly salted water and boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a non-stick pan and then add the onions, sauteeing until golden brown (this will take longer than you think, about 15 minutes).

Drain the potatoes and transer to a large bowl. Add salt and pepper, then mash. Add the cheese and the onion butter mixture, and mix well. Taste it, this is your filling and it's GOOD.

Take the gyoza and use something round that is very close to the width of the shorter end of the gyoza(cookie cutter, or if like me, you only have cookie cutters in shapes like stars and candy canes, a drinking glass), and cut each gyoza into circles, discarding the extra. HINT: If you are using a drinking glass or other item that isn't very sharp, take about 10 - 12 gyoza at a time and use a knife to "draw" around the edges of the glass. Goes MUCH faster. Once all your gyoza are circular, you're ready to fill!

This part is a pain! Wet the edges of the gyoza and drop a dollop of filling into the middle, careful not to overstuff. Fold it over and seal well, pressing the edges into each other. If you don't seal them well, they'll fall apart when you cook them and that's very sad. It helps to make the filling sort of like a little log instead of a round scoop. You'll get the hang of it. Fill until you run out of gyoza.

Phew! So this will make enough for two people with some leftovers. To cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pierogis one at a time until the surface is covered. You don't want to overfill the pot. They only need to boil for about one to two minutes, max - if you overcook them, they'll fall apart and make a big mess. Fish them out with a slotted spoon and continue cooking until you have about eight a person.

Top them with a dollop of sour cream and some green onions, and you've got yourself a delicious Polish treat in less than 45 minutes!

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